What DVD have you just watched?

Yetizone posted:

Paddington 2: Streamed via Apple TV.

Well what a superb way to spend a wet Easter school holiday afternoon. Better than the first movie which was a real surprise as to how good it was. Just the right balance of whimsy and humour throughout. The cast are excellent (as per the first movie), but its Hugh Grant who shines the most - his mischievous portrayal of ham actor Phoenix Buchanan is one of the best comedic performances I’ve seen in a while. Highly recommended for adults and children alike - and tame bears too.

'i think you'll find that gun shoots plastic darts'

* flop *

'so it does...'

Priceless!

Seven Psychopaths on Amazon as recommended by several forum members on here regarding Martin MacDonagh's back catalogue. 

Set in the wacky world of L.A. and featuring super performances by Christopher Walken and Sam Rockwell as dog kidnappers who then return it claim the reward a few days later. 

Ray

The Killing Fields on Studio Canal Blu-Ray.

I can still so clearly remember the first time I saw this film.  I was staying in London with my sister and her husband and the plan was to go to the cinema one evening and see this film.  I knew little or nothing about it before we went and was utterly riveted throughout. I had learned little about Cambodia at school.  The only thing of note as I recall was when our Geography teacher explained that what was once Cambodia had been renamed Kampuchea.  We didn't ask why, and he didn't go on to explain.  

In later years I was lucky enough to attend a talk given by Dith Pran who was then working as a photojournalist for the New York Times in the US.  And more recently our book club was reading Jon Swain's River of  Time and he came to dinner to talk about the book and his experience in Vietnam and Cambodia.  So, you could say that thanks to this film, I have learned a great deal more about the events behind Cambodia becoming Kampuchea, and it's a film I can return to again and again, with a lovely soundtrack too, courtesy of Mike Oldfield.

This latest viewing of the film was the first time I've seen it on blu-ray.  Previously I had favoured the US Region 1 DVD, which was the best way to view the film outside of the cinema. I can't really say that the blu-ray improves on that excellent Region 1 DVD that much but it's certainly a good step up over the old non-anamorphic pan and scan UK DVD.

If you like Get Carter then I can highly recommend a slightly earlier film from 1970 called The Reckoning starring Nicol Williamson.

Here's a short synopsis from IMDB:

Michael Marler, a successful business man in London, is about to make his way to the top. The death of his father brings him - after 37 years - back to his hometown Liverpool, where he is confronted with his lost Irish roots. He finds out that his father died because of a fight with some anglo-saxon teddy boys. It becomes "a matter of honour" for him, to take his revenge without involving the British police. —Michael Schoemburg

Ring any bells...?

The good news is that there's an excellent limited edition Blu-ray + DVD release from Indicator that's still available.

From 1978. Crude, rude, , offensive, insanely successful, hugely influential and very funny. A career-defining performance from the late great John Belushi.

As an Englishman, I find the American Frat/Sorority system both baffling and rather creepy (we don't have an equivalent here) but hell, I would join the Deltas!

Richard Dane posted:

The Killing Fields on Studio Canal Blu-Ray.

I can still so clearly remember the first time I saw this film.  I was staying in London with my sister and her husband and the plan was to go to the cinema one evening and see this film.  I knew little or nothing about it before we went and was utterly riveted throughout. I had learned little about Cambodia at school.  The only thing of note as I recall was when our Geography teacher explained that what was once Cambodia had been renamed Kampuchea.  We didn't ask why, and he didn't go on to explain.  

In later years I was lucky enough to attend a talk given by Dith Pran who was then working as a photojournalist for the New York Times in the US.  And more recently our book club was reading Jon Swain's River of  Time and he came to dinner to talk about the book and his experience in Vietnam and Cambodia.  So, you could say that thanks to this film, I have learned a great deal more about the events behind Cambodia becoming Kampuchea, and it's a film I can return to again and again, with a lovely soundtrack too, courtesy of Mike Oldfield.

This latest viewing of the film was the first time I've seen it on blu-ray.  Previously I had favoured the US Region 1 DVD, which was the best way to view the film outside of the cinema. I can't really say that the blu-ray improves on that excellent Region 1 DVD that much but it's certainly a good step up over the old non-anamorphic pan and scan UK DVD.

Browsing through cassettes for sale as I did lately I saw that this soundtrack is available if your interested.

I watched this again last nice. A random selection really.  I've never thought it as good as the original but it still has merit. Obviously the special effects are well done. Gort is much more impressive in this than the 'bendy toy' of the original.  Reeves does a passable job of being the cold and emotionless alien, though I still prefer Rennie.   And I think the writers deserve some credit for how they imagined the apocolyptic means by which the aliens decide to cleanse the earth.   

Out at last on BRD in the UK (an HMV exclusive). Could this be the greatest American picture of the 1970s? Maybe - there's a lot of competition though  - Coppola's Godfather flicks, plus The Conversation and Apocalypse Now, Polanski's Chinatown, The Last Picture Show by Bogdanovic, Spielberg's Duel and Jaws, Scorsese's Taxi Driver, Friedkind's French Connection, along with other contenders like Five Easy Pieces, A Woman under The Influence, MASH, Serpico, All The President's Men, Malick's second film, Days Of Heaven...

I think Terrence Malick's Badlands (1973) is my favourite, though. It's also the most striking debut by an an American film-maker since Welles' Citizen Kane back in 1941; and perhaps the most poetic piece of movie-making since The Colour of Pomegranates (Sergei Paradjanov, 1968).

A haunting and jaw-droppingly beautiful tale of violence perpetrated by teenage runaways, it's inspired by a true story - the notorious 1958 killing spree perpetrated by the 19-year-old Charles Starkweather and his 15-year-old girlfriend Caril Ann Fugate – which left 10 people dead and shook Ike's complacent 1950s America to its core.

Here the story is transposed to 1959 and stars 31-year-old(!) Martin Sheen as the Starkweather figure Kit Carruthers (clearly modelled on James Dean)  and 24-year-old Sissy Spacek as Fugate (renamed for the movie as Holly Sargis).

As well as placing his characters in the vast Midwestern landscape, ensuring that they seem as lost as we know them to be; Malick's genius is to contrast the horror (and poetic beauty) of what we see with Holly Sargis' banal and unreliable narration. And the cinemastography of Tak Fujimoto, Stevan Larner and Brian Probyn is just as masterful (as is Malick's script, and the performance of the two leads, supported by Warren Oates and Ramon Bieri).

A film this good, and this ravishing, deserves to be seen in the best possible quality, and this is an excellent Blu-ray transfer.

 

MDS posted:

I watched this again last nice. A random selection really.  I've never thought it as good as the original but it still has merit. Obviously the special effects are well done. Gort is much more impressive in this than the 'bendy toy' of the original.  Reeves does a passable job of being the cold and emotionless alien, though I still prefer Rennie.   And I think the writers deserve some credit for how they imagined the apocolyptic means by which the aliens decide to cleanse the earth.   

I've never seen the original, but thought the 2008 movie stood well on its own merit. Often low/negative ratings associated with the remake, I found it engrossing enough to re-watched some years after. The interaction between Reeves and Jennifer Connelly is good, and who'd have cast John Cleese as a Nobel-prize physicist? It all worked for me.

Netflix: The Hitman's Bodyguard

A film that demonstrates that a great cast can't save a poorly architected movie.

Why 'architected'? There are a number of elements that go into the ingredients of a successful film and the ones I normally think of are script, plot, acting and directing. Whilst these are obviously still relevant there are two additional elements that struck me with this movie, locale and tone.

This film has great leads and good support, it is an EXCELLENT cast. The direction is at a minimum competent. The stunt work is generally good. Where this film suffers greatly is:

Setting
I suspect that this script was reworked to place it in the UK and Europe, I would presume due to funding/tax breaks. If this film was set in South America with the CIA I could have settled back far more easily. Setting it in the UK with Interpol (!!!!) as a pro-active policing organisation with gun toting agents on British streets with gun battles in Coventry just left me cold; and never recovered.

Tone
For this film to succeed with me it needed to adopt a style similar to, for instance, 'Live and Let Die'. In part it did, with the leads doing good work. But, the film would then veer off into ultra violence, as well as the tropes of hails of bullets failing to hit sitting ducks.

I like the central concept and with some changes this might have been some fun.

AVOID.

M

joerand posted:
MDS posted:

I watched this again last nice. A random selection really.  I've never thought it as good as the original but it still has merit. Obviously the special effects are well done. Gort is much more impressive in this than the 'bendy toy' of the original.  Reeves does a passable job of being the cold and emotionless alien, though I still prefer Rennie.   And I think the writers deserve some credit for how they imagined the apocolyptic means by which the aliens decide to cleanse the earth.   

I've never seen the original, but thought the 2008 movie stood well on its own merit. Often low/negative ratings associated with the remake, I found it engrossing enough to re-watched some years after. The interaction between Reeves and Jennifer Connelly is good, and who'd have cast John Cleese as a Nobel-prize physicist? It all worked for me.

The original is well-worth a viewing joerand. It's black & white, the effects are very creaky, but the story is excellent. Should be easy and cheap to find. 

Kevin-W,

Thanks for the heads up re: Badlands and the Barry Normanesqe type write up.

I have put it on my to watch list but I would like to add One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid plus Rosemary's Baby to your list of great films from the 70's.

Ray

thebigfredc posted:

Kevin-W,

Thanks for the heads up re: Badlands and the Barry Normanesqe type write up.

I have put it on my to watch list but I would like to add One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid plus Rosemary's Baby to your list of great films from the 70's.

Ray

Thanks Ray - but to be an annoying pedant for a moment, Rosemary's Baby actually came out in 1968, and BC&TSK in '69. Good call on Nest, though.

Yes that makes sense as I watched them in the early-ish 70's on TV so they would have been released late 60's. Getting on for 50 years ago...a lifetime ago.

How about the Exorcist ......and I was going to add ET and Close encounters but I fear I may have strayed into the 80's.

thebigfredc posted:

10 Cloverfield Lane on Amazon Prime.

A well made and  well acted, esp Jon Goodman, film. I don't want to say anything about the plot as that would give the game away. Worth a watch.

Ray

Watched it two nights ago..... Expect the unexpected. Just keep an open mind. VERY enjoyable.

Paddington 2 - on DVD courtesy of Cinema Paradiso.

No beating about the bush on this, it's brilliant. The only fly in the ointment is that High Grant possibly upstages even the bear - but then I guess that's all part of the character he plays here, so possibly intended all along.

It's a film that you can enjoy, and indeed love, whether you're 9 or 99 years of ages - we watched it with my Mother and at moments I caught her rapt one moment and in hoots of laughter the next. I dare even the most cynical to try to not enjoy this delightful film...

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